#936. A good tree bears good fruit (13/11/23)
This week, as we continue in our series in Luke, we will be reflecting on Jesus’ teaching from Luke 6:43-45 where we learn that our lives are to bear good fruit. Today, we see that all Christians will bear good fruit.
‘“[for] No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognised by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”’ (Luke 6:43-45)
Lesson: A Christian is like a living tree that will always bear good fruit. Let’s rest in the truth that the Spirit can and will transform us from the inside out.
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Becoming a Christian brings about a radical transformation in every way. Our legal standing before God changes from condemned to justified; However, our constitution - our nature - also changes from death to life. We are not just forgiven and justified, we also have new life - regeneration - which will always show itself in new ways of thinking and living.
In salvation, it’s the Holy Spirit who ‘opens our eyes’ to see our sin and believe on Jesus for justification. Having brought us to faith, the Spirit’s ministry continues; sanctification (growth in holiness) will always follow justification because those who receive Jesus as their Saviour are also joined to Him by the Spirit, receive the new life of the Spirit and bear the fruit of the Spirit.
In the book of Romans, Paul speaks of the resurrection power of the Spirit that is now working in us as the source of a new way of living in our ‘mortal bodies’:
‘And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.’ (Romans 8:11)
Do you see that ‘if the Spirit of Him who raise Jesus for the dead is living in us’ it is inevitable that, like a good tree, we will bear good fruit - live in our ‘mortal bodies’ in a new way.
A Christian is like a living tree that will always bear good fruit. Let’s rest in the truth that the Spirit can and will transform us from the inside out. If we want to bear more of the fruit of the Spirit, it’s essential that we understand that all growth in holiness is fruit of the Spirit. We cannot manufacture true spiritual transformation. Jerry Bridges wrote:
The pursuit of holiness, though requiring diligent effort on our part, is dependent upon the enabling power of the Holy Spirit
(Discipline of Grace: Jerry Bridges p97)
This doesn’t mean that we do nothing, but today, it’s enough to know that if we have received Christ, we are a living tree that will bear the fruit of the Spirit. Let’s rest in Him and have hope that He can overcome any of our flaws.
Let’s pray together:
“Lord Jesus, I thank you for dying for me so that I can have justification and life. Holy Spirit, please keep transforming me into the image of Jesus so that I can be a light in this dark world. Amen”
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?
3. Worship together
Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.
4. Study and pray together
This week, as we continue in our series in Luke, we will be reflecting on Jesus’ teaching from Luke 6:43-45 where, in essence, Jesus is teaching that the loving life we’re called to (as we saw last week from 6:27-42) is made possible by the work of the Spirit in us - it’s the fruit of the Spirit.
Please read Luke 6:43-45
On Sunday we saw that ‘a true Christian bears fruity by nature and on purpose’; Why is it natural and inevitable that a ‘good tree’ - analogous of a Christian - bears good fruit?
What is the good fruit that the Spirit yields in our lives?
What are the destructive things that one can ‘store in the heart’ and what will the result be?
On Sunday we saw that ‘a true Christian bears fruit by nature and on purpose’; What are the ways that we can ‘store good things in our hearts’ so as to bear more fruit?
SIV - How will the good fruit in our lives help those who are outside of faith to come to Jesus?
SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ this week?
SIV - Let's now pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV.
Does anyone want prayer out of what we have reflected on together or for anything else?